This Week In The Business: No Country For Kool-Aid Men

Illustration for article titled This Week In The Business: No Country For Kool-Aid Menem/em

QUOTE | “If you’re going to be the Kool-Aid Man, you need to be able to bust through everything. There’s nothing worse than saying, ‘Oh, you can do all this stuff except when it’s actually important. And then we’re going to put up unbreakable walls.’” - Stellar Jockeys’ Hugh Monahan explains the fruit drink-inspired design ethos behind his studio’s mech shooter Brigador.

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STAT | 48.4% - The percentage decline for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare unit sales at UK retailers compared to last year’s launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops III.

STAT | 24% - The percentage decline in peak players count for Infinity Warfare compared to Black Ops III during each game’s respective launch weekend.

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QUOTE | “There’s a psychological effect where an individual in a group of similar people will have fewer good ideas than the same individual in a diverse group. If there is any workforce full of people who are similar to each other, it is the video game industry workforce. We are mostly men, mostly white, and even more importantly, we are mostly gamers. Could it possibly be that maybe, just maybe, we could be missing something?” - Tru Luv Media founder and former Ubisoft lead programmer Brie Code, suggesting reasons why video games are in a creative rut.

STAT | 4 million - Capcom’s Resident Evil 7 sales projection for the game’s first couple months on shelves. Resident Evil 6 was projected to sell 7 million in its first six months, but disappointed with sales of 4.9 million.

QUOTE | “Machine Zone has a stellar track record in the mobile gaming space and we are putting Final Fantasy XV in trustworthy hands.” - Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda, explaining why the publisher is having the Game of War and Mobile Strike developer make a mobile spin-off of its latest RPG.

QUOTE | “With disc releases, we have the tendency to discount - sometimes too early - just because it’s on physical shelves and the space is needed. You don’t really have control over you pricing. In digital that’s different.” - IO Interactive studio head Hannes Seifert explains why Square Enix has avoided discounting the latest Hitman episodic game.

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STAT | 24% - The amount of Ubisoft shares owned by Vivendi, as the telecom giant added to its stake in the Assassin’s Creed publisher this week, further stoking speculation of a hostile takeover.

QUOTE | “You have games that have always been niche markets. Now, because of digital distribution and the way the democratization of development tools is working, niche markets can be viable markets.” - Maniac Mansion developer Ron Gilbert suggests a reason for the return of adventure games like his Kickstarted Thimbleweed Park.

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QUOTE | “It sounds kind of silly to say, but we don’t focus on monetization. It isn’t a topic metric for us.” - Niantic CMO Mike Quigley explains why Pokemon Go doesn’t need to push in-app purchases or ads as fiercely as some other mobile hits.

QUOTE | “We kind of dream of the day that we get sort of our first great eAthlete in one of our games. Michael Jordan was amazing to watch not only because he was an amazing basketball player but because of his physicality.” - Upstart studio Drifter Entertainment has some big ideas about the intersection of VR and eSports.

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DISCUSSION

mangalango
Burning Mango

That article by Brie Code is pretty much everything I hate about the trajectory of the industry. All this concern about super busy feminist art historians in Canada not playing and the push to get them to play is giving a big middle finger to the consumers that pay your bills and built this in the first place.

What about those that do like dragons? What’s so wrong about making a product that sells? I don’t want to learn about myself in a game. I’m not interested in removing conflict and death. It’s not that it sounds boring, it sounds like it isn’t a game. Even Tetris has failure built in. You can get hopelessly stuck in old Lucasarts adventure games.

Then of course I’m told to let them have their niche and move on. Which would be fine except this kind of garbage creeps into every game. Mafia 3 is packed full of white guilt shit. Lara Croft just had to face her rapey moment. Kratos now trudges slowly in the snow teaching a kid about life.

If you want your highly personalized emotional games then have them. But don’t ruin every fun mindless game with your navel staring millennial mumbo jumbo. I like to shoot and stab in most games, not ponder my existence.